Keolis undertakes a second trial of its autonomous electric shuttles in Belgium

10-10-2018
On 4 October Keolis announced a second trial of its fully electric autonomous shuttle in Belgium, this time in Braine-l'Alleud (Waterloo), near Brussels. This follows the successful launch in Belgium of the first autonomous shuttle in early September. Keolis conducted this new trial in partnership with NAVYA, a French company which specialises in the design and construction of autonomous and electric vehicles, the Belgian ministry of mobility, the Vias institute (the Belgium Road Safety Institute) and Baloise Insurance.

The NAVYA autonomous electric shuttle will operate in normal traffic conditions on a 2.4-km route in the tourist area of Waterloo, a place famous for the battle that took place two centuries ago between the French, British, Dutch and German armies and which attracts over 500,000 visitors every year. The shuttle transports visitors between Lion’s Mound, the Waterloo museum and the Château d'Hougoumont farmhouse.

The autonomous electric shuttle is an ideal mobility solution for university campuses, amusement parks and hospitals. The shuttle is best used to provide a last-mile connection solution to complete journeys on existing public transport networks. 

The NAVYA autonomous electric shuttle can accommodate up to 15 passengers, including those with reduced mobility (it has a dedicated area for wheelchairs). It features Lidar sensors, a GPS RTK system, an odometric system, a V2X connection and cameras, so the vehicle can detect other vehicles and pedestrians and run on open roads. The trial aims to study the reactions of passengers and road users so as to improve the technology and ensure that it fits safely and seamlessly into day-to-day life in the city, before being implemented at other tourist locations.

Keolis, a pioneer in shared autonomous mobility

In recent years, communities have shown growing interest in autonomous mobility solutions. This has allowed pilot projects to proliferate and has proven the viability of this technology in (re)designing everyday mobility, both now and for the future. A pioneer in shared autonomous mobility, Keolis is already conducting other trials in partnership with NAVYA. Long-term trials are currently being conducted in France (La Défense, Roissypôle with ADP, Lyon), as well as in the US (Las Vegas), Canada (Candiac), Australia (Melbourne and Adelaide) and now in Belgium.

Since the launch of the service in Lyon, France in September 2016 – the first autonomous shuttle transport service in the world – Keolis has carried out more than 30 trials and demonstrations, driven 40,000 kilometres and transported some 110,000 passengers in autonomous shuttles, both in France and abroad*. 

* France: Paris (La Défense and Roissypôle with ADP), Lyon (Confluence), Strasbourg; Denmark (Aalborg); Spain (Barcelona); UK (London Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park); Canada (Candiac, Montreal); US (Las Vegas, Atlanta); Australia (Melbourne – la Trobe university, Adelaide – Flinders university); and Belgium (Han-sur-Lesse and Waterloo).

We are pleased to be working with our partners on this new trial. With over 1,000 passengers in one month in Han-sur-Lesse, we are very much looking forward to the first results of the trial of our autonomous shuttle in Braine-l'Alleud. This route is five times longer than in Han-sur-Lesse, it is more challenging and features more curves and slopes.  In addition, the route is narrower and is used not only by bikers and pedestrians, but also by farmers and on their tractors

 

Marc Renouprez, international regional director for continental Europe